Cocktails & Spirits

Memorial Day at Miami Beach VFW Post 3559

Miami Beach VFW Post 3559 is the best kept secret on the beach, particularly on Memorial  Day. All the regulars were cool with me, but nobody there seemed too keen on the idea of the whole world finding out about their $2.25 beers or $3.75 mixed drinks from 3 p.m. - 2 a.m. seven nights a week, 362 days a year (they're closed for Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years Day). The post is at 650 West Ave, on South Beach, on the second floor of the Floridian condo. It has remained at that address since 1936. The condo was only cleared for construction under the strict clause that the post be built into it. They have a killer ocean view.

Post Commander Doug Morris served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during a "police action" in Lebanon in 1956. He joined Miami Beach VFW post 3559 in 1982. He was born and raised in Miami Dade. He commemorates "Those that have fought, those that have died, and those that are still fighting" on Memorial Day. He likes the post because it's a "nice, quiet place to come and have libation with no stress, and the company's good."

Bartender Debbie Brooks (first image, top of screen) has been volunteering her services at the VFW post since around 1995. Her husband (deceased) was a Vietnam vet. I asked her if she'd like to tell a story to commemorate him and she said "I gave him 2 kids, that's good enough for me." She said she likes to volunteer because "I'm proud to be an American, and I like the guys, the boys."

Jim Landy, a retired history teacher from New Jersey who now lives in Boca has been coming to the post for "about 20 years." He comes out every memorial day and drinks to his father who is "85 years old, fought in World War II, and is still alive, not too many of those left." He also drinks out of respect to Phil Franchino, a deceased member of the post.

Juan Franco, a civil lawyer by trade, serves as unofficial legal counsel for the post. He says "Everybody's family here. Cept', I hate all these motherfuckers." He's joking of course and hands Debbie a slice of pizza from the pie he ordered and had delivered to the post.

Roberta, a member of the ladies auxiliary of post 3559 commemorates her father, Bobby Torres, Chico from central cab, and all the old time beach folks who are no longer living, her heart goes out to them.

The Miami Beach VFW Post 3559 is located at 650 West Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139. The phone number is (305) 672-1990. They are open from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., 7 days a week and their drink prices are permanent happy hour. Entrance is at the side of the Floridian condo, by the pool. Push intercom button, bartender will scope you out through a security camera and buzz you up.

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Jacob Katel
Contact: Jacob Katel

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